Le Muy

Le Muy is at the southeastern end of a natural basin of 3 to 8 km in diameter, encompassing the airhead of the DZ A and O. The city leads from a road, to the landing beaches of Saint-Raphaël lying about 20 kilometers. The city is occupied by the headquarters of the Grenadiers. Rgt.765 (242nd I.D.) who has the majority of his troops in Fréjus and Saint-Tropez. A reconnaissance unit of 148. I.D. consisting of a radar operator unit and an anti-tank unit is also located in Muy. The enemy is on alert and ready.

Several men land inside the town. Most escape through the streets before daybreak, but two men from the 596th Engineer are captured in town. They stay there all day under sniper fire. In the late afternoon, they manage to escape by swimming in the Nartuby river with water to the neck. They join the British attack, and stay in Le Muy area until finally found by the Americans the next day.

August 16, 1944

The road from Le Muy lead to the landing beaches of Saint-Raphaël being about 20 kilometers. The men of the 550th IAB move into a staging area near the city on the north side and establish a safe zone while waiting for the attack. From them, the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion, with the 1st Platoon of the 596th PCEC and the paratroopers of the 463rd Parachute Field Artillery Battalion, await, south of the town.

Le Muy was to be taken by the paratroopers of the 2nd Independent British Brigade, but, without support of artillery, could not take the city. However, they take the bridge on the Nartuby river to the north which leads directly to the city center. Around midnight, the 550th IAB men leave the forest north of the town. The 550th command company is located 100 meters before the bridge in a house to the left of the road.

At 2 am on August 16th, the A Company, 2nd Chemical Battalion fired an explosive shell fire. 200 shots are fired. Dave Goodel company commander remarks that the defenses are not very solid so that little shooting is done that night.

After 15 minutes of artillery barrage, the 550th IAB attack. A Company moves to the right of the road, C Co. on the left and the B Co. is placed in reserve. Immediately, machine guns and German snipers fired to them from all sides. The company’s ambushes shoot very little to not showing their positions to the Germans well entrenched in the stone houses. At 6 o'clock, the battalion retreats and regroups to attempt a second assault. This retreat is not a withdraw as the British still maintain the front line.

At 11:40 on the 16th, the 550th IAB crossed the Nartuby river again and retaliated. But the groups take several breaks, very appreciated by this heat where the men sweat in their woolen uniforms. When the battle begins, men quickly forget the heat. The enemy occupies positions 300 meters south of the river.

The Heavy Weapon Platoon takes a position on a hill on the right flank of the C Company as it moves towards the city. After capturing the city center, A Company arrives on the right flank of the C Co. to clean the area. Apart from a few isolated snipers, the city is secure by 15 hours. During the attack on the city, 1/Sgt. Anthony Paplatario is killed and 15 others are wounded.

Early in the morning of the 16th, the 509th Combat Team, still missing its personnel dropped by mistake on the coast, learned by the 2nd British Brigade that Le Muy still has not fallen. The men hold the heights situated beyond the Argens river facing Le Muy and the bridge that crosses it. Therefore, they decide to move towards the city. The firing batteries of the 463rd PFAB under the command of Major Seaton fire a total of 62 shells between August 15 and 16 to support the 509th PIB during the attack on Le Muy. At about 10 o'clock in the morning, Cooper and other wounded were evacuated and Major Garrett, parachuted on the coast, took command of the battalion. The assault was to be attended by a tank platoon of the 191st Tank Battalion arrived from the beaches. The attack by 1st and 3rd Platoon of the Able Company supported by the light machine gun and the mortar platoon of the HQ Company was going to begin at 12:30 pm. While the 3rd platoon attacked the hill, the 1st platoon made him move to take two houses at the base of the hill. The two platoons were attacked by small arms fire, however, the tanks arrived around 14 hours and their fire destroyed the German resistance. A Company takes 26 prisoners. The paratroopers, advancing first on board the tanks, return to the city where they meet the advanced patrols of the 550th Infantry Battalion who had assaulted the city by the other side.